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Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Friday, 26 November 2010

Uefa investigation into red cards surprises Real Madrid

Xabi Alonso (left) was the first Madrid player sent off
Alonso (left) earned his second yellow card for time-wasting over a free-kick

Real Madrid insist they have done nothing wrong as Uefa investigates claims of improper conduct levelled at coach Jose Mourinho and four players.

Uefa will charge Real if they find Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos deliberately incurred second yellow cards during their 4-0 Champions League win at Ajax.

The dismissals mean they will be banned for the final group game rather than in the knockout stages of the tournament.

"Real Madrid expresses its surprise for [the] decision," read a club statement.

"[Real Madrid] understands it does not follow the content of Uefa's Disciplinary Regulations."

In Uefa's disciplinary code, article 10 allows for suspensions of more than one match in cases of unsporting conduct.

Alonso was shown a second yellow card for continually delaying his run-up to take a free-kick on 87 minutes while Ramos was dismissed when he did much the same from a goal-kick three minutes later.

Neither player protested the red cards and Ramos even shook hands with Scottish referee Craig Thomson, who is set to join the strike this weekend, before walking off the pitch.

Uefa is also investigating the roles played by Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas and substitute stopper Jerzy Dudek in the Amsterdam Arena after both were allegedly pictured passing on messages to defender Ramos.

With Real already guaranteed passage to the knockout stages as Group G winners, Alonso and Ramos would normally serve a suspension that rules them out of the final meaningless game against Auxerre.

Alistair M - BBC Sport

Had both players picked up a booking in the final group game, or later on in the competition, it would mean they would be suspended for a potentially crucial knockout tie.

After the game, Mourinho denied any wrongdoing, saying: "Stories sell but the important thing is the 4-0 win and the fantastic game we had. Let's talk about that and not other things."

The disciplinary hearing will take place on 30 November.

Speaking before the Uefa announcement on Thursday, Ramos told the Real Madrid website: "My being sent off against Ajax is of no concern. It is a thing of the past. It's time to move on and to think about the [game against Barcelona this weekend].

"I am not worried about any repercussions because I don't think I broke any rules."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Real should be punished if found guilt but admitted he had been tempted to do similar things.

"You never say that it doesn't cross your mind, and you have to be completely honest about it," he said. "But when you see how it looks on television, I must say, what happened there is the best demonstration to think, 'never do that again'.

Sorin Cluj
Uefa are also investigating former Cluj coach Sorin Cartu

"For yourself as well, never envisage to do that because it looks, frankly, horrible."

It is not the first instance of a player deliberately getting themselves booked.

David Beckham, who was England captain at the time, intentionally committed a yellow-card foul against Wales in a World Cup qualifier in October 2004.

He later explained that he had a rib injury and knew he would miss the next game, so he wanted his second caution of the qualifying campaign so he could serve a one-match ban while hurt.

Australia's Lucas Neill also admitted to picking up a deliberate yellow card against Qatar in June 2009 so he could serve a ban immediately and not risk carrying a caution into the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Uefa is also investigating the behaviour of the former coach of Romanian champions CFR Cluj.

Sorin Cartu, who was only appointed in September, was sacked on Thursday after smashing up the dugout during his team's 1-0 Champions League loss at FC Basel on Tuesday.

"Due to this unwanted gesture committed by Sorin Cartu we have decided to sack him from his current position," stated club president Iuliu Muresan.

"We would like to give our most sincere apologies, first of all to Uefa, the host of the Champions League competition, to the Swiss club FC Basel, to our fans and to all football and sports fans."

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see also
Tuesday's football as it happened
23 Nov 10 |  Football
Chelsea 2-1 MSK Zilina
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Caught on camera
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